And more Meche. I know neither of you guys listen to KJR all that much — and for two different reasons, I understand — but the Meche hype after yesterday’s game is starting to build to insane levels. It’s only three starts, people! And only one of those starts was good! And even if he continues to pitch well, there’s still a chance that at any moment, his arm could fall off. You almost have to take the Edgar approach here: it’s great to see him do well, but counting on him for a full season is unreasonable. If it were up to me, which it isn’t, I’d still sign Chuck Finley.
Minor League Highlights for Thursday, April 17
Tacoma 4, Tucson 3. The Rainiers won despite trailing 3-0 in the 5th inning, and scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth. 3B Luis Figueroa, who led all M’s minor leaguers in batting average last season, was four-for-four with a double to raise his average to .341 on the year. Starter RHP Brian Falkenborg pitched well (6 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 7 K) but left when the game was tied so he didn’t get the win. Instead, LHP Tim Hamulack pitched a scoreless 9th (1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K) to pick up his first victory of the season. SS Mickey Lopez and 1B Andy Barkett each had two hits for Tacoma, and RHP worked two scoreless innings (2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K) in relief of Falkenborg.
Midland 7, San Antonio 5. RHP Clint Nageotte, who walked five batters in his last start but came away unscathed, was simply roughed up this time around and lasted just 3 1/3 innings (5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 3 K). He also threw two wild pitches. Reliever RHP Enmanuel Ulloa, who took the loss, was also battered around (1 2/3 IP, 1 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 K). Offensively, the Missions got homers from 1B AJ Zapp and C Scott Maynard. Maynard has been getting the vast majority of the time behind the plate as prospect (and projected starter) Ryan Christianson remains on the disabled list.
Inland Empire 3, Rancho Cucamonga 2. Offense continues to be a problem for the 66ers, as they’ve scored just seven runs in their past three games, but they picked up another win thanks to strong pitching. RHP Juan Done, who spent last season at Wisconsin, worked 6 2/3 innings (5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K) but wasn’t around to pick up the win as his team scored two in the bottom of the ninth to win. LF Shin-soo Choo hit his second homer of the year, but his line on the season is a paltry .189/.318/.432. Still, those OBP and SLG numbers aren’t bad for a guy hitting .189 — four of his seven hits this year have gone for extra bases, and he’s drawn five walks against 37 at-bats.
Beloit 8, Wisconsin 4. The Timber Rattlers managed to hold super prosect 1B Prince Fielder to an 0-for-4 night at the plate, but apparently forgot about his teammates, allowing them to score six times in the first four innings. Starter RHP Tanner Watson lasted just 3+ innings (7 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 3, BB), though LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith kept the game relatively close with a solid relief appearance (4 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K). Watson’s ERA is now 7.71 compared to Rowland-Smith’s 1.93 mark, so it could be just a matter of time before the former loses his starting job to the latter. LF David Delucchi had two of Wisconsin’s seven hits.
Please excuse the delay in today’s Minor League Highlights. The wife and I are moving this weekend, so I spent the morning (“between 8am and noon”) sitting in the new apartment waiting for the cable guy to come by, despite the fact that there really was no good reason for him to come in the first place. Yeah, like I couldn’t have plugged in the damned cable modem myself and hit the power switch. I swear, next time I move I’m just going to find the magic box in the parking garage and hook the cable up myself, consequences be damned.
Another thing about Meche — boy, the camera sure does love him, doesn’t it? They almost swing towards him in unison, with little cartoon love bubbles floating over the lens.